The lights dimmed and a hush fell over the crowd. The last hour had been building to this. Denis Sverdlov, CEO of Roborace, and Daniel Simon, chief design officer, took a step back as some knee-high panels were taken away and a silky cloth was lifted, revealing a mechanical monster underneath. More than a year after the project’s announcement, the pair had finally revealed their first production-grade Robocar: a fully electric, driverless race car built from the ground up for a new breed of motorsport. One where the heroes are programmers, concocting the smartest and most competitive AI drivers.
The Robocar is an imposing sight. The low profile and flowing wheel arches give it a distinct, animalistic look. Like a cheetah, it seems ready to pounce at any moment. “It needs to look like it moves when it’s standing still,” Simon told me the next day. “It needs to just tickle your senses on a very simple base level, so you say, ‘What is this?!'”
Roborace chief design officer talks about the excitement and challenges in designing the Robocar. With no need for a driver, steering wheel or pedals, all traditional rules were out the window and the car could take on a life of its own. Engadget’s Nick Summers covers the evolution of the car, the company behind it and the software-based competition it’s preparing to launch.